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Murray names Under 20 Squad

Murray names Under 20 Squad

Hugh Barrow21 Jun - 16:24
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Four Hawks in Scotland World Rugby Under 20 Trophy

Scotland U20 Head Coach Kenny Murray has announced his 28-man squad ahead of the 2024 World Rugby U20 Trophy, with highly experienced flanker Liam McConnell once again given the captaincy nod.

Scottish Rugby will host the age-grade tournament and welcome seven teams from across the world to Hive Stadium, home of Edinburgh Rugby. Scotland have been drawn in Pool A, where they will compete against Samoa, Hong Kong China and Japan. Pool B will see Netherlands, USA and Kenya compete for their spot in the play-offs.

Murray has named a 16/12 spilt, with six players looking to make their Scotland U20 debut this summer. Props Jake Shearer and Ollie Blyth-Lafferty, hooker Seb Stephen and second row Dylan Cockburn are welcomed into the forward pack. The backs see the addition of centre Ludo Kolade and scrum-half Conor McAlpine.

Jake Shearer, who hails from Ayr RFC, recently made the step up into the club’s Super Series outfit Ayrshire Bulls and made four appearances in this year’s Super Series Sprint. Ollie Blyth-Lafferty, former Scotland U18 standout and Edinburgh Rugby contracted academy player, will join his brother Jerry in the front row.

Returning from a stint in New Zealand, 18-year-old Seb Stephen will look to make his debut on the international stage. Melrose man Dylan Cockburn is the final newcomer to join the forwards after he made six appearances for the Super Series team Southern Knights earlier this year.

In the backs, Ludo Kolade, of Harlequins and Bath University, will look to make his first start for the young side after narrowly missing out of the Under-20 Six Nations earlier this year due to injury. Conor McAlpine, who most recently represented Watsonians in the Super Series, is the final potential debutant named.

They join a number of players who made appearances for the age-grade side during the 2024 Under-20 Six Nations, including flanker McConnell who has been named captain of the team for the fourth consecutive campaign. He will be joined by centre/wing Geordie Gwynn and fellow back row Tom Currie as vice-captains.

Of the 28 players named, 25 players have developed their skills in Scottish schools and clubs, with the other three coming through the Scottish Qualified system which identifies potential players from outside of the country who qualify to play for Scotland through certain eligibility criteria.

The squad contains 19 players who are aligned with either Edinburgh Rugby or Glasgow Warriors as part of the 2023/24 FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy. These players train full time alongside the professional club’s senior players, allowing them to immerse themselves in the pro-team environment where they benefit from professional coaches and support staff.

Scotland will meet Samoa for their first pool match on Tuesday 2 July (kick off 5.15pm), before they play Hong Kong China on Sunday 7 July (kick off 2.30pm). The last pool match will see the team compete against Japan on Friday 12 July (kick off 7.45pm) before they reach the play-offs v TBC on Wednesday 17 July (kick off TBC).

All of Scotland U20’s matches will be available to watch live exclusively on free-to-air BBC ALBA, including their three pool matches and final play-off

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